WHATEVER is decided at COP26, leaders of governments will then have to convert this into action.

The media, opposition politicians, experts, pressure groups and the public will no doubt scrutinise, analyse, criticise, and maybe even eulogise statements or announcements by Boris Johnson as they did with his pronouncements from the podium during Downing Street Covid briefings. This is entirely correct in a democracy such as ours.

However, in their inevitable attempts to grab some virtue-signalling headlines during COP 26 and beyond, it is far from certain that similar pronouncements by the SNP/Greens will get the same treatment. Nicola Sturgeon’s Covid briefings were meekly accepted at face value with little airtime or newspaper column inches being devoted to serious scrutiny. Indeed, she was praised for her leadership in presiding over what is turning out to be, at very best, a mediocre outcome.

Much of what is decided in Glasgow will be the responsibility of Holyrood to implement in Scotland. Sadly, the SNP’s poor record on converting words into action, and its failure to meet its own environmental, alternative energy and green jobs targets thus far, does not inspire much confidence. Ms Sturgeon herself calls for “credible actions” to limit climate change. Credibility can only be achieved once all the right questions have been asked and answered and this is not a trait associated with the SNP. We have too much to lose to allow the SNP to get it wrong.

Mark Openshaw, Aberdeen.


I TOOK encouragement to pen this from Neil Arthur (Letters, November 1), who illustrated that not everyone is suffering from COP26 hysteria and it is not yet a criminal offence to be sceptical.

The highly emotive and frankly sometimes-irrational statements being made regarding the role of human activity in climate change effectively puts a guillotine on what should remain an open and informed scientific debate. I believe that phases like “ the last chance saloon” and “ the world at one minute to midnight” feeds a narrative which dominates and distorts the scientific evidence.

The entire known history of our planet is a history of climate change. It is perhaps a source of comfort to some people to think that we have the power to do something to alter the Earth’s climate. In that sense the whole movement has become a new world religion for humanity and COP26 an international prayer meeting.

To keep our heads we must return to the wide-ranging scientific evidence and realise that much of the so-called science is full of suppositions and estimates. There is even an entire school of thought which suggests that volcanic activity, particularly sub-sea events, are largely under-valued regarding their impact on the climate. That kind of talk has now become heresy, such is the nature of inflammatory scientific opinion versus indisputable facts.

Before we make complete fools of ourselves we must stop and think through the net cost to our society of dumping our central heating and petrol cars based on flimsy predictions with absolutely no guarantees. I see little chance of our role in the UK being that of model leaders in green technology if much of the rest of the planet is playing lip service. I consider that the price of revealing to the world that we have the capacity to be “holier than thou” is going to be too high.

Bill Brown, Milngavie.


I MUST question Neil Arthur’s assertion that “the UK in total is responsible for only one per cent of global carbon emissions”. Does that figure take into account that element of Britain’s carbon footprint which comes from international travel and the carbon produced overseas to make goods that are used here ? The WWF reported last year that “nearly half of the UK’s carbon footprint comes from emissions released overseas to satisfy UK-based consumption. It said that "products including clothing, processed foods and electronics imported into the UK are counted as the manufacturing country’s emissions, not the UK’s – although they would not have been produced were it not for UK demand.

“These emissions account for 46% of the UK’s carbon footprint yet are not currently covered by national reporting or included in the UK’s net zero target.”

John Milne, Uddingston.


COAL use will be a key issue dividing industrialised and developing countries as they meet at the Glasgow climate jolly. Some industrialised countries have been shutting down coal plants for years but in Asia, home to 60 per cent of the world's population and about half of global manufacturing, the use of coal is soaring as Asian nations try to meet the demand for power.

The global economy remains heavily dependent on coal for electricity. In 2020, 40% of the world's power came from coal, 25% from natural gas, 15% from hydro dams, 10% from nuclear and 10% from renewables like solar and wind. In Asia, coal's share of the generation mix is twice the global average and the total global coal consumption is set to rise for the foreseeable future.

Dr John Cameron, St Andrews.


RECENT correspondence on heat pumps as an alternative to gas boilers in domestic homes (Letters, October 28 & 29 & November 1) reveals quite opposing opinions. Quite recently, my wife and I had installed an electric combi boiler in our top flat and attic tenement property which heats a circuit of traditional radiators. The new boiler appeared compatible in price with the upper range of gas boilers.

I understand that heat pumps might be practical for a new purpose-built apartment building but would be a complicated installation for traditional flats. Curiously, I have not been aware of any discussion in the media of the electric combi boiler as a credible, environmentally friendly, alternative to the gas versions. The only shortcoming I would see is if the source of electricity was not to be from a renewable source.

Stephen Downs, Falkirk.

* I AM sure many of your readers will read Sanne Dijkstra-Downie’s article today ("Getting your home ‘heat pump ready’ will cut bills", The Herald, November 1) with hope and interest. Around 50 years ago I carried out very similar insulation improvements on a 1930s bungalow with little difficulty or cost; however we presently stay in an early 1900s ground-floor sandstone flat in a conservation area. Other than upgrading windows and installing wall-sized radiators or heated ceilings throughout there does not seem to be any other obvious way to get “heat pump ready”. As these old properties need to “breathe”, running cost are sure to remain high.

Duncan Miller, Lenzie.

* IN response to C Fleming (Letters, October 30) I would like to say that as an 83-year-old vertically challenged female, an electronically-operated garage door is a necessity.

Isobel MacGregor, Glasgow.


HUNDREDS of thousands of climate protesters from around the world are descending on Glasgow and activists are threatening to cause major disruption, violent disorder and damage. The police operation will cost taxpayers more than £250 million.

It is anticipated that there will be at least 300 arrests a day but it has been known for some time that there will not be sufficient cells to hold them in, so many could be released to go back to cause more mayhem. Legal aid lawyers, demanding more money, see this as an opportunity to cause chaos in the justice system. Why did our police and politicians not anticipate these problems and call in reliable lawyers and pass a law mobilising the armed forces and using them to detain the arrested demonstrators for the duration of COP26?

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.


LESLEY Riddoch's article on how many of us ­– count me out – are feeling guilty every time we think about COP26 ("Trust and obey: Politicians must ditch double standards and observe restrictions", The Herald, November 1) reminds me of a psychiatrist friend who believed that we went to church to be made to feel guilty and later in the week consulted a psychiatrist to have the guilt removed.

I just feel irritated by the whole jamboree.

David Miller, Milngavie.


I FIND Huw Edwards being parachuted into Glasgow for COP26 being utterly offensive given that the BBC is watching the pennies of our licence fee. We have perfectly qualified and highly professional personnel in BBC Scotland.

Steve Barnet, Gargunnock.


I HEAR that it could be helpful, as we grapple with the climate crisis, if we listen more to nature. Yesterday morning I was in the garden when I overheard an interesting conversation.

“Have the humans gone yet?"

"Nope. Still talking. But it won’t be long now.”

Fraser Patrick, Dundee.

Read more: Tide of public opinion against all the environmental paranoia is steadily growing